Monday, 14 September 2015

The nighthawk

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A new excerpt

Free
 This is an excerpt from a new story I'm writing 

Somewhere, sometime in any town or village

Hank sat at his desk and thought “What a night!” as he looked out at the city, with its lights flashing and the endless noises of the slot machines. “Saps, nothing more than helpless saps,” he muttered as he thought of the millions of people spending millions of dollars, in the forlorn hope of winning the Big One. 

Hank Peters - one-time gambling junky - now a full-time recluse had known his share of the hard luck stories, and hopes of winning. He’d frequented the halls of machines; one day the truth hit him as he walked back to the dirty hovel he called home - the Cadillac of the owner of the gambling joints on the strip passed him, it’s a mug’s game and the only winners are the bosses.

Hank’s friends thought it would be hard for him to kick the habit of a life, but it wasn’t. Each time he got the urge, Hank thought of that night, cold, hungry and filthy; not caring how he looked. When you hit the bottom it takes something like that night to shake you into reality. Some can pull themselves out, others chase that win harder, believing their luck will change, but it never does. The only thing that changes is their friends and family desert them, and they end up in some dive like the one Hank frequented. 

Sleep had eluded his life for many years, but Hank had got used to working through the night. In the hard times, he’d often work for days, never surfacing. His friends worried he’d burn himself out and once or twice he did. At the back of his mind, Hank had the idea for a great story but he couldn’t free the words, Lord knows he’d tried often enough.

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